Earth Day is fast approaching and I’ve been planning activities for the class with all the usual talks about how we must take care of our planet etc.  It’s very easy to talk the talk, not so easy to actually make daily changes to try and make a difference.

So I had a think about what I could change about how I live to make a difference (if only in a small way).  So I’ve set myself a challenge.  I am going to try my absolute hardest not to use or buy and plastic packets.  Let’s make that sound more convincing – I’m not going to use any plastic packets.  When I go shopping I’m going to use my own fabric bags or cardboard boxes/packets.

Do you think it’s possible?  Just think every time you go shopping how many plastic packets do you come home with?  Often they are not very useful ones, small sizes or not very strong so what do you do – put them straight in the bin.

The current facts about plastic packets (just to really make everyone feel guilty) can be read on the site below. http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/reasons-why-plastic-bags-should-be-banned.php

So, as from today I will tell my class that I’m not using any plastic packets.  I will let you know how I get on………….

Parents agonise over gifts for their children and how many times have you heard the story that the child opened the gift and then played with the box!  Don’t underestimate what you can do with rubbish, here are some ideas:

  1. Boxes (all shapes and sizes), egg cartons and plastic yogurt pots are great in the sandpit.  You would seriously think it was Christmas morning when children come outside and see all the rubbish in the sandpit.  They are so excited.
  2. Indoor box construction is an excellent art, science, fine motor and technology activity.  It ticks all the boxes!  Let them work completely free.  Do not try and direct their activities.  The main reason I find it works so well is that I do not get involved at all, they have complete autonomy over what they are creating.  Often they will end up working in little groups on a project just because they can see that several minds are better than one!  If teachers interfere too much that can hamper play.  Do not worry yourself about what it looks like, it’s about the process not the end product.  They are learning to make decisions, how to make things work, concepts such as weight and balance and even how to negotiate (e.g. I really wanted that box. What can I swap with you so that I can have it?).
  3. Yoghurt pots!!! All my teacher friends know how I love these.  We are lucky in South Africa as we get quite large ones and they are very strong.  Great as construction toys 50/60 yogurt pots can build amazing towers/walls etc.  Can be used inside or outside as it doesn’t matter if they get dirty. Add them to your mud kitchen.  Also great as musical instruments.  Turn them upside down and they make a good sound when banged on the floor.  Lovely for rhythm activities.  Give a child one for each hand.  They make a good sound but they are quieter than proper instruments, so with 20 children in the class you can just about be heard over the noise (I mean music)!!  Next time I use them I will post a picture.  You can do weaving activities with them.  The list is endless…..

So encourage your parents to bring you their rubbish! Remember ‘One mans rubbish, is another mans gold.’